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No tax increase for Jim Thorpe residents

Published November 29. 2012 05:02PM

At November's Jim Thorpe Borough Council meeting, council tentatively adopted the budget for 2013. There will be no tax increase.

The following were tentatively adopted.

• Tax Levy Ordinance

• Decrease in the penalty on utilities from 20 percent to 15 percent .

• General Fund Budget- Total receipts $1,757,126, Total expenses $1,757,126.

• Sewer Budget- Total receipts $1,096,117, Total expenses $1,018,300, Fund balance $77,817.

• The ordinance to decrease the sewer rates. The sewer rates will be calculated by water usage- the first 1,000 gallons at the cost of $21.69, same as water for the residents. There is a decrease in the sewer rates from the current charge of $28.45 for the first 1,000 gallons to $21.69.

• Water Budget- Total receipts $1,163,009, Total expenses $1,154,251, Fund balance $8,758. The first 1,000 gallons used per month will cost $21.69 for residents. There will be no increase for water rates.

• Sanitation Budget- Total receipts $623,601, Total expenses $588,450, Fund balance $35,151. There will be no increase for sanitation rates.

• Liquid Fuels Budget- Total receipts $99,500, Total expenses $97,926, Fund balance $1,574.

• Memorial Hall Fund Budget- Total Receipts $176,216, Total expenses $172,782, Fund balance $1,433.

• The budget will be voted on for final adoption at the December 13th council meeting.

Council President, Betsy Ahner, stated that the taxes are:

Real Estate Tax- 6.4 mills = $97,416 is one mill

Fire Tax- .5 mill = $48,708 is _ a mill

Occupational Tax- .0055 mills

Per Capita Tax- $5

LST Tax- $25

Earned Income Tax- 1 percent (1/2 shared with school district)

Realty Transfer Tax- 1 percent

In other news council approved the following:

• Anti-skid material bid to Eastern Industries. Delivery at $12.90 per ton and plant pick up at $7.00 per ton.

• Old Time Christmas Parade on November 30th at 6 pm.

• The PennDOT lighting maintenance agreement. Regarding the future bridge project.

• The PennDOT sidewalk maintenance agreement. Regarding the future bridge project.

In other news,

Mayor Michael Sofranko stated at the meeting that for the Fall Foliage Festival, which took place for three weekends in October, some of the police services expenses were paid by the county through the Hotel tax. The amount paid by the county was $4,000. The borough paid around $1,900 for the remaining amount for police services. Sofranko stated that there is money for that fee in the budget.

A resident raised concerns about how much the taxpayers will be paying for the extra police services for the event and other events. He suggested going to the county about getting more money to help with events in town, maybe through parking.

Sofranko stated that residents have raised concerns in the past regarding the taxpayers paying for the extra costs for events in town.

Police Chief Joseph Schatz stated that there are many events that the police are requested to be at.

The Police Services Contract, which had been approved at a previous meeting, deals with someone or a group requesting the services of the police department above and beyond regular patrols. I.e. special events, etc… With the contract, council may ask for the contractor to pay a fee for the extra services of the police department. Council may also vote not to ask to have the fee paid for the service.

Council members, John McGuire and Joanne Klitsch both discussed that at the beginning of the year council will need to look at and discuss the contract for future events.

McGuire stated that council needs to come up with a method of getting the contract out to the organizations that have special events.

Regarding the Old Time Christmas Parade, Sofranko suggested that the sponsor of the parade could maybe make a donation to help defer some of the cost.

McGuire added, "Part of this contract is liability insurance."

Sofranko stated, "We welcome these events around town. Council is not saying no to these events but the extra cost needs to be looked at. We have many events and there is a cost."

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